Regardless of where the sewer project ultimately concludes - with a working sewer or not - credits and thanks to Mary Jo for her efforts. People like Mary Jo make a difference.
Mary Jo opens up, yet again, previous discussions around how we - as in all residents of La Manzanilla - can pay for and maintain the infrastructure. My comments:
The available expenditures on infrastructure in town come from the municipality. A much smaller portion comes from handouts from federal and state governments. Some from the ejido. The delegado is the municpality, even though they are not always in agreement on issues around funding. Available funds are raised through local property taxes - i.e., what all property owners, inluding us foreigners holding land through various quasi-legal means, pay to the municipality.
The idea that foreigner property "owners" would voluntarily pay more taxes likely would never fly. That is because we don't own our land and take a huge risk in buying land we don't own. Instead, many of us contribute to causes of our own choice. That way, we know where our money went.
Those who don't "own" property would normally pay their share through hospitality taxes. These don't exist in most of rural Mexico. Even though they should.
Many of us maintain the ejido-owned and municipaly-maintained ( or not) streets out of our own pocket. Most os us, although not all, pay our water bills. Most of us are not hooked up to the sewer. Most of us already pay to have our garbage picked up, in the form of tips.
The town does desperately need more revenue. There is a tax system in Mexico that could generate much more revenue. This includes the ability of government to assess taxes on businesses, and on individuals that earn relatively high incomes. But the processes around tax collection are so onerous, impossibly so, that fair taxation across the board is likely years away.
Most of us who have been here a while have contributed to ambulance funds, police charities, sewer projects, animal health programs, education and school support, and so on. These are all great projects. But at some point, do we not need to expect the various levels of government to pony up?
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